by TS Caladan
On Sirius Prime, the highest Guild in the 1711 universe and all the Guilds in other parallel universes received extraordinary news that shocked the worlds: The galaxy had sudden Visitors no mystic or any sort of machine had foreseen. Unbelievable to everyone, but true. (Or was it?) The enormity of the golden-globe spacecraft was incomprehensible. It measured approximately twice the size of our galaxy. Twice! The Gold Ball was far too large to travel to any star system. It was parked just outside the galactic rim in the emptiness of deep space. Top scientists concluded that the spacecraft had approached our galaxy from the direction of Andromeda.
Fear raged throughout the most elite solar systems, while lower lifeforms were totally unaware of what stood at our doorstep. Who could imagine such great proportions for a vehicle? Who were the golden Visitors? What did they want? Over first-channel tele-coms, of worlds that had first-channel tele-coms, signals were received and then disseminated…
The Visitors introduced themselves as the Archons. [Only an audio signal was broadcast in every appropriate language]. Blue-beam signals quickly calmed fears over channels, which spread to various forms of Media across countless worlds and their Seeches. Basically, Milky Way’s Masters and mystics relaxed their tense stance because the alien transmissions had tranquil effects. The translation was:
“We are God’s Archons. We have come to pay respects to the Pan-El. I am the Navigator. My crew of 12 and I honor the Savior of many worlds with a gift from above and below. We now all owe our existence to the Pan-El. We Archons have developed a method to secure universes so ‘crossovers’ never occur again. Recent Doomsday was averted and we must insure that an ultimate erasure of Everything will never threaten citizens ever again. Our gift to the Pan-El and all universes is the Tarezzejenneb: a switch, a button, a lever that will firmly plant worlds in their proper rivulets, forever. The good news is annihilation cannot happen, not now or ever, and that will occur with the press of a single button. We give the Savior the honor of securing every universe and lifeform and request ‘contact’ with She who has already saved us all…to save us one last time. We await contact with the Pan-El and Guild. Arrangements will be made at that time. We hope our great gift pleases the Master and many citizens throughout her Seeches and in her realm. Signing off…your humble servants, Navigator and crew…”
Within a bistro or café called “9” that catered to large, two-legged Lizards… Two young Reptiles, intellectuals, sat at one of the big tables especially designed for Lizards. One was a bit mannish and one was slightly girly and wore round eyeglasses. Their orange, designer [‘Bastille’] clothes with neat, black trim was the latest in fashion for young Lizards of High Society. The male was named Bill and sported the newest look: Beards! Now, male Reptiles had unnatural hair that extended from their long snouts, most every one of them. The look was so IN. The female was smaller and named Cindamon.
The couple possessed communication devices that tied into the ‘Stream’ (mass information base). The device-nodule on the table enabled the Lizards’ retinas to project large ‘holo-windows’ out in front of them, each a few feet in length. Stream windows were only seen by the user at their particular brainwave frequency. Bill, Cindamon and all other patrons at ‘9’s tables manipulated their window-portals, again and again, and accessed huge amounts of data. The avalanche of Stream info was more important than the surrounding reality or actual social interaction. Everyone was addicted to the Stream, except for a few that weren’t.
A Lizard waiter walked over to the twosome and placed Blue Mead drinks down on the table. The snooty, bearded waiter left. The usual, virtual walls in Café 9 were ‘down’ for some reason. The odd gestures by primarily seated Lizards were more visible with the black background.
Cindamon took a drink, fixed her glasses, then went right back to the Stream and moved window after window that only she viewed. Cin said, “What was Duug screaming about, hon? The Beast? What Beast? He yelled that on my com then hung up. You spoke to him. What’d he mean?” She slashed the air once more and new VR windows popped into view.
“Duug isn’t like the rest of us, Cin. Haven’t you noticed?” The Reptile concentrated on the data flow then accessed more information (woolongs vs. quatloos). “He was desperate that it was true…”
“What?” she asked while she looked in another direction, nowhere near Bill.
“…When he saw the Pan-El on his tele-screen at home, it, it, was…”
“Monstrous! Like a Beast. That’s weird, isn’t it, dear? Wonder why he’d say that?”
“You mean the Pope’s response to the Archon Visitors, everyone saw earlier?”
“Yes, dear. He had some visual hallucination that our Savior turned into a terrible Monster, a great Serpent, then changed back to her sweet self, right there on the screen…huh.”
“He’s really lost it lately, Bill; won’t Stream, won’t carry a nodule and, and, get this: Duug sleeps in a Faraday cylinder…”
“I didn’t know that, hon. That’s not good, eh?”
It was as if the couple in ‘orange-Bastille’ were oblivious to each other, yet carried on a normal conversation. They broke away only for seconds to drink and eventually finished their Meads.
The bored waiter came over and informed them that the cafe closed in 15 minutes. He dropped goblets of complimentary (last round) Green Meads on the table.
Cindamon complained, loudly: “Hey waiter! VR walls are down, man! All the drinks should have been compted, eh? Bitch. And it’s green. What kind of shit-hole coalmine are we in?”
Waiter said, “The problem will be fixed tomorrow, mam.” He was blasé and turned and walked away from the table.
She shouted back: “Miss! That’s Miss! Mam. Does he think he’s getting a tip?”
“Don’t upset yourself, hon. Duug said he’d be here in the last ten minutes before closing. You know, Duug: he always keeps his word. He’ll explain, I guess. Sure did sound crazy over the com. I have no idea what he’s going to unload on us, dear. Let’s just humor him, take it with a grain of sugar? Who knows? He may need serious help.” (long pause) “Cin? You there, my love?”
“Yes, yes. Sorry. I checked my name’s new anagram, huh? Strange. What were you saying, Bill?”
Duug had approached his friends’ table a minute earlier and was amazed how hypnotized Bill and Cin were at the nodule’s hrps [holo-retina-projections]. They hadn’t noticed him. He looked around at lit tables and big/seated Lizards, all of them, barely interacted with others. They only concentrated on individual screens, invisible to Duug (one of the few Lizards without a beard) and the others at their tables.
Cin and Bill were finally aware of his presence when he tapped them on their broad shoulders.
“There you are.”
The couple acknowledged him but didn’t look at him.
The unconventional Lizard, in blue, sat on the other side of the table, gulped down the last of their Meads and wiped his big, hairless snout. “I can’t believe you guys.”
“What?” they said simultaneously, and never looked at their friend.
“Look! Two Moral Sins,” Duug tried to tell them. “Mortal Sin Number One: You’re all the same. You’re all doing the same wrong behaviors! Mortal Sin Number Two: You think the Authorities, Church and State, wouldn’t do terrible things to us, covertly, secretly…Big babies! Grow up! Yes they would; don’t be innocent/ignorant children, children. They do unspeakable things to us and worse from the shadows. Look at everyone of you in this place, and you can really see it now against black, huh…Look at me! I’m trying to tell you something important!”
“What’d he say?”
“Look at you! You all have Parkinson’s Disease!”
A number of seated patrons at the cafe stopped their hand gyrations and actually turned their snouts and eyes toward Duug. But only for a few seconds, then returned to the unseen screens.
Duug’s friends also broke from their hrp-trances for a moment. Cindamon motioned to the owner with a claw wave that Security need not be involved. [She knew the cafe owner intimately and also slept with Duug].
The Lizard in blue calmed down, relaxed, and drank the last drop of Mead in the goblets. “Okay, I’m fine now. Gang, would you just listen to me?”
“Sure.” (They weren’t listening).
“For one thing, have you noticed almost all of you are wearing Bastille Orange? Huh?”
“It’s in, it’s hip, everyone’s wearing them this season,” Bill replied and checked his bank account.
Cin asked, “What wrong with being in style?”
“Do you know themmings don’t follow each other? It’s a myth. You’re all doing the same robotic behaviors without a trace of individualism, creativity. Independence. What you call ‘fashion’ this season is Prison-Wear! Ha! You’re all prisoners and simply love your captivity. We’re all inmates in the asylum but we don’t have to look like slaves, do we? Look at your fucking beards that you think are so cool. Galley-slaves! And every one of you are doing it. That should tell you something, like: it’s wrong? When that happens and you all do it, it’s wrong. I be going the opposite direction, huh. How did they ever get Lizards to grow beards anyway? Wow.”
“Oh, Duug” Bill’s big eyes remained transfixed on his personal screens (stocks).
Same with Cin. She said to Bill, “That’s Duug being Duug.”
“I’m trying to tell you these remote nodules are dangerous, man! And you’re all doing it. I’m a scientist and I know they’re slowly messing with us, killing us. Slowly.” His words fell on deaf ears.
Cindamon insisted, “You have a tele-screen at home I know you watch.”
“They’re required by law aren’t they, Cin? I’m talkin’ ’bout these remote units you all carry that tie into brainwaves. Bad enough tele-screens watch us and are harmful; the nodules are slow killers. Wouldn’t think of going without them, huh? Addicts! Or shaving. The State is slowly killing us, man!”
“They wouldn’t do that,” Bill softly responded. The couple’s attention never left the holo-screens.
Duug pleaded, “That’s Sin #2. Please. My good friends. For a literal minute, would you turn off your screens and listen to me carefully? For me, please?”
They did. For one minute before the cafe closed.
“What’s this Beast business?” Bill remembered and asked.
“Yeah,” Cin also was momentarily curious.
“That’s exactly what I want to tell you. Something bizarre is happening; things unnaturally changing and only a few of us realize it. Okay. We all saw, over Media, Pan’s reply to the Archons. Citizens and Masters scared out of their boots at the Big Arrival, all right? We run to our great Savior to save us again and she tells us everything is cool: She’ll push a Button from God and Universes are repaired, never will crossover again. Right? Well, I saw the Beast and the Button in my mind. I fear the switch will destroy Everything…not save the world…”
“Get out,” Bill scoffed.
“Why would you think that, Duug?” Cin asked.
“Ha. Because I’m not the only one who saw the Beast. Check the Stream now. Look how many Reptiles streamed they witnessed a hideous image of a Monster when it was supposed to be our Golden Messiah-girl…”
The two Lizards were happy again and turned on their unseen screens. They accessed.
Cindamon quickly expressed: “It’s not even 1% of 1%.”
“That’s a lot of Lizards who reported exactly what I saw, Cin! A Monster. Why did so many report a horrific image? Now. At this time? When strange, giant Visitors have arrived?”
Both returned their attentions to the private screens.
Cindamon casually said, “Because there’s a lot of nuts out there? Mass-hallucination. How about fears made real? That’s possible isn’t it, Mr. Scientist? Hrps going the other way?”
“Hey. You almost have a point there, girl. But I don’t buy it. I get the feeling we few are viewing correctly and you many have been blinded in some way, distorted. Believing the unnatural changes? Other things I’ve heard have changed. Islands, coastlines, believe it or not…”
Cafe 9’s heavyset owner made an unexpected announcement:
“We have received word that a special news report from Sirius Prime will be broadcast.” [Cafe’s large Com-Screen flashed on behind him]. “Download on your holos or view the news here. We’ll keep the cafe open until the ’emergency’ transmission has concluded. Also. One more free round of drinks…” The fat Reptile smiled and ordered his waiters.
“I’ll say. That’s more like it.”
“Wonder what the news is? He said emergency?”
Owner relayed to the seated, anxious patrons: “Just been told in three minutes. We’ll know what the news is in 180 seconds. Big screen will stream it. Okay.” He found a seat.
Others gathered around the cafe’s screen and turned off their smaller versions of the Stream.
Duug stated to Cin and Bill with fear in his deep voice, “Oh, no. She’s going to push the fucking Button. She going to do it now. Now, you hear? Not in the 3-day waiting-period as was reported.”
Bill asked, “What’s wrong with that, Duug?”
“Yeah? Why not secure the universes forever? Get it over with, fix everything, and have the giant Sphere go on its merry way?”
Duug inhaled a huge breath. Why did only a few Lizards on Trafalmador see and feel that the Visitors were not what they appeared and the Dream was over?
“Look.” The desperate Lizard in blue answered, “…I feel in my bones the Archons want to destroy us and have created our Female Savior, all part of a plan to destroy the, the…world…”
Cin adjusted her glasses and asked logical questions: “It was just saved. Why would they do that? Ah, or need to do that? Why not have golden giants simply crush us, if that was their goal?”
“Oh. Good point, Cin,” Bill said in a voice not very deep.
Duug, the scientist, replied: “Maybe like Playcedo, they need everyone to believe what they’re seeing, believe this is good and is the answer…only to, to, to yank it the other way? And the other way is into total oblivion!” Duug had tears in his large eyes and truly believed his worst fears.
“You’re daft, mate,” Bill responded.
“Oh, yeah? Watch. We’ll see in a minute. Watch I’m right. Pushin’ Universal Button will be moved up to now! That’s the news, mate…”
The tired waiter left Turquoise Meads (weakest) on their table and left.
Duug was fired up. He knew he was right. He confidently declared: “Let me share something in the time before the news, aye?”
“This will be good,” Will said to Cindamon.
“Yep. He’s a real hoot. Duug. I think you’re letting your fears get the best of you. You’re paranoid. Believing madness, seeing monsters and you sure aren’t alone in the panic. What do you want to share with us?”
“Okay.” Duug finished his drink and said: “You know the new ad for Pink Mead?”
“Ooh. Pink Mead. It’s the next big thing, I hear,” Bill replied, automatically.
Cin said, “Delicious. I’ve had it. Can’t wait until 9 has…”
“Listen! Maybe I’m just full of myself, but they used my name in it…”
Cin yelled, “They did! Duug’s the guy hanging in the cage.”
Bill wondered, “His name is Duug?”
“Okay, play along. Maybe it’s only a coincidence? I think it’s a metaphor for what’s going on. I swear perverts control us through tele-screens and Stream, ah…never mind. In the ad, they’re in a dark, old dungeon, right? Prisoners. Fucking door is OPEN, right? Duug’s caged and screaming: the door is open, freedom, GO! But, no. Hell no, the slave-prisoners won’t go…there are cases of the new Pink Mead by the door! Just delivered. Why escape, right? Don’t you see the programming, the propaganda? What’s Duug tellin’ y’all? Don’t you know what the ad is really saying?”
Bill answered, “That Pink Mead is damn good!”
“Yes. NO! Augh!”
The cafe’s big screen came on and grabbed everyone’s attention. The patron’s nodule-devices were turned off as jumbled, garbled transmissions were received from State headquarters on Sirius: Brilliant pictures flashed on the cafe’s screen, held steady, blinked, warped, mutated, then held steady once again. Visuals that appeared on tele-screens at home and on the Stream accessed through remote nodules were complete shock waves to galactic citizens and G-Masters:
WAR! Space scenes of gigantic battle-cruisers and destroyers from the State Guild, sent to defend Sirius Prime from a small invasion force. The battle (slaughter) had begun. The enemy fleet that approached were legendary Rangers, (Resistance, Rebels) that announced their attack upon the “lair of the Pan-El.” They called themselves “Wings Over the World,” the true Protectors and Guardians of life. Media presented them as insane “terrorists,” “saboteurs” (who opposed the Big Event to come).
“You were wrong, Duug. News isn’t about the Big Button at all,” Cin said, smugly. Then…
They revealed what the Rangers announced, their true motives of the Guild attack before the first HAZER was shot: They must stop the Tarezzejenneb Lever from being pulled. They claimed the Pan-El was part of an evil plot by the Beast to destroy the Universe with a push of a button.
“Oh,” Cindamon expressed and left her big mouth open.
Bill stated, “Look. Poor, wacko Duug’s not alone. A few fighers. Crazy people in small fighter ships trying to stop Universal Stability?? It is a mad world.”
Cin put her arm around Bill and said to him: “Don’t worry, hon. Those madmen will be wiped out in seconds. Crush’m to bits, I say.”
The small fleet of compassionate, aware scientists, Watchers, Monitors, Wings Over the World, Keepers of the Faith, True Templars, righteous Knights of Light and the last hope for Day Side forces, were easily destroyed by the awesome armada of State warships.
G-Masters and the most powerful, psychic mystics in the galaxy, as well as all citizens, had been misled, duped, Pied Pipered and herded to slaughter by robotic Goat Gods, who were slaves themselves on higher Levels. The majority of Masters had been corrupted by the Bennejezzerat a long time ago. The Guild authorized the destruction of the last Rangers who were defeated and vaporized in minutes!
Guild 1711, and all the parallel Guilds, moved to press the “God Button” NOW, so no other force could ever be mounted in the next few ‘days.’ Therefore, the scheduled date for the Archon’s Gift and Super Ceremony, festivals, etc., was changed to the present time.
Patrons cheered as tele-screens, nodules and the cafe screen showed the Royal Palace of the Pan-El.
Surrounded by thunderous applause from the huge crowd of colorful, happy, excited officials…
Golden Girl changed to the Beast she really was. She smiled. Everyone saw it and heard it when the mad Queen uttered, “Enjoy your Last Second of Life.” It was too late. Gilla pushed the Big Button><
There was no delay. Everything. Everything. Everything was instantly gone. Nothing. Really nothing. No more realities, universes, mirrored worlds, Floors, Levels, movies, programs, channels and dreams. Even nightmares were no more. No Gods and Monsters. The Cosmic Television Set was turned off…forever.
But somewhere else, there was something. Somewhere else, there was life…
You have just read an exclusive (near end) portion of my 11th novel, ‘Beyond Barronsland,’ and sequel to: ‘The New Men and the New World,’ published by TWB Press in Colorado. In this small section, I’m not writing about Lizards, I’m writing about YOU!
Comments and questions to Tray are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org